We continue our story in Judges 19:28; the Levite man puts the concubine’s dead body on the donkey and makes his way back home. Instead of burying her and allowing the Lord to take revenge over the injustice that occurred to the concubine, he decides to cut her into twelve pieces and distribute the parts to the tribes of Israel. His response was the most gruesome act performed from the day the Israelites came out of Egypt.
In Chapter 20, we read how the tribes of Israel responded. They all gathered, except the Benjamites, in an assembly; 400,000 men in total. The leaders made a choice to gather as one. Did they really have a choice? Imagine receiving a package, unlike any other you have ever received. Our first reaction could either be figuring out, ”who, what, when where, why, and how”, or to mind our own business and continue living our own lives.
What road do we usually take when there’s a problem to deal with among our family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and strangers? Do we take a moment to observe the situation, think about what’s going on and ask, “Lord, should I get involved or do I keep quiet?”
There are times the Lord just wants us to stay still. Support those that need it, keep quiet, and don’t criticize. Other times, we have to go beyond the stillness and provide a solution.
The tribes ask, “How did this wickedness happen?” The Levite man has the opportunity to tell his story. He tells them that these men from Gibeah meant to kill him and they raped his concubine. He forgot a small detail of the event. He doesn’t tell them how he forced his concubine to the men (Judges 19:25), and went back in the house until the next morning. Would he have done such a thing if it was his wife? He treated her more like a piece of property than his own mate.
How do we support but keep quiet and don’t criticize? We do this by providing positive words to uplift that person. Keeping quiet may involve controlling our tongue and not giving our opinion of the situation but putting the emphasis of helping that person to rise above the situation. Don’t criticize the person or others in the situation. We all resolve issues differently but it doesn’t make one person better than the other.
The Lord has made us all different and when we watch how people act and react in various situations in life, we will see that there are variants to resolve anything. If you are chosen to help out in a situation, know that someone has confided and looks up to you for counsel. It’s our responsibility to act accordingly to that role.
The Levite man then asks for advice and counsel from the Israelites (Judges 20:7). Do we think, react, then go back and reminisce how we could of done things differently or do we analyze, take counsel, and make the best decision based on the information gathered?
The Israelites decide to fight against their brethren, the Benjamites, for the cruel act that was done before them. They go to Gibeah and ask them for the men who were involved in the crime to put them to death. But the Benjamites wouldn’t listen to them. They gathered their forces and 26,700 men joined to fight against the Israelites. (Judges 20:15).
Three verses later, we see the Israelites counseling with the Lord, “Which of us shall take the lead to battle against the Benjamites?” And the Lord said, “ Judah shall go up first.” They didn’t ask if they should go, if they should act on peace, if there was another way to resolve this problem. All they asked was, who should go first. The Lord answered them according to their question. He didn’t add or take away from the request. This is what happens when we feel we have everything under control and don’t consult the Lord the moment a situation arises. We all know where that leads us to!
And so the battle began between the Israelites and the Benjamites in Gibeah.
|First day||22,000 men||Israel lost|
|Second day||18,000 men||Israel lost|
|Third day||25,100 men
Sometimes we don’t know the impact that is caused by our actions. One incident between a few men and a woman in the act of rape caused many to die in battle. When we look at the numbers above that outline the deaths, it should make us think about our actions and decisions we make on a daily basis.
Now, let’s turn this around and imagine an act of kindness or in a larger scale of doing a good deed, we may not see it but the impact can be great. And if we’re challenged to step up and do what the Lord wants us to do, the impact will be great! Those numbers of death can be changed to numbers of spiritually feeding wellness to people and winning souls.
Let’s look at the parallel with Jesus and the concubine
|Accepted/Rejected by His own people||Accepted/Rejected by the Levite man, the man who took them in, and the accused men|
|Not honored by many||She wasn’t honored by any of the men|
|Suffered barbaric abuse before His crucifixion||Suffered a horrific abuse/rape among the men|
|Died – Crucifixion||Died – Rape|
Unlike Jesus, who was perfect, the concubine suffered horribly for the sake of a few individuals. Jesus died for our sins and gave us back many things the devil tries to trick us and take away from us. The concubine died and we can assume that it affected at least one person in her life, a person who heard about the tragedy, and as we read the story in the Bible today.
Why do we suffer in life? Could it be something we did against God’s Will? Did we sin? Did God use us to teach someone else a lesson? Did God have to strip everything from us to get our attention? It may have had nothing to do with you but the Lord knew by using you as an instrument, the impact would be great. That’s why it’s very important to follow the Holy Spirit whenever and where ever he leads us because we will have the covering to handle anything that happens in life.
There will be things that happen in life that just doesn’t make any sense. But we have a Father who knows the beginning and the end. So, why not allow Him to control and lead in everything we do?
Don’t lean to your own understanding but in everything have faith in the Lord.